she did what she could

{five minute friday: could}

A woman, having heard where Jesus was having dinner that night, went to her cabinet and selected the flask with the very costly ointment. She slid it carefully into her pouch and slipped out into the dusty street.

When she got to Simon’s house, the miracle man who had been healed of what so many had died from, she stepped boldly through the doorway. There He was, lovingly listening to those around Him, fully engaged and fully at peace as if He rather be no place else. He had such an inviting way about Him.

He was easy to approach, surely she was drawn to Him. He sat reclined at the table. She drew near and broke to top of the flask, as there was no other way to access the precious oil inside. She poured the anointing oil on His head, the cost fully worth it her as a reflection of her love and worship of Him dripped down onto His dark beard.

Immediately the snickers and critisizm gained volume. But she heard none of it when she was this close to Him, fully focused on Him. She was almost startled when His voice rose firmly but evenly above the rest.

“Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. You always have the poor with you, and whenever you want you can do good for them. But you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. And truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.” (Mark 14:6-9)

She did what she could.

Doing what she could cost her something. It was expensive. Our time, our money, our talents offered for the Lord can be costly. We might not be able to buy the newest iphone or keep up with the Joneses, because what we value in our heart will be displayed in our checkbooks.

Doing what she could kicked up criticism. Not everyone “gets it” when we do what we feel called to do by the Lord. Sometimes we have to be willing to hear the Lord, through His Word, over the noise and disapproval of the world.

Doing what she could was noticed by the Lord Himself. She didn’t have to defend herself. Why? Jesus spoke up for her. He affirmed her actions and silenced the complainers with Truth. God knows our hearts and 1 John reminds us He is greater than our hearts. So what’s our motive? If it is out of love and worship for Him, we can’t go wrong, regardless what the world says.

How can I live a life that when I lay it down here, Jesus can say of me, “she did what she could,” with delight in His heart?

  1. I can spend myself on what He calls me to.
  2. I can expect criticism and chose to hear Him over it.
  3. I can trust He notices my doings because He knows my heart best.

Let’s spend this week living the example of the one who did what she could.


Spend time with the One who knows your heart best by spending time in His Word. Drop your email below for your own PDFof Tend: How to Hear the Gardener’s Voice.

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34 thoughts on “she did what she could

  1. I loved that Jesus himself spoke up for her, she didn’t have to! He noticed that she had done what she could and He loved and appreciated it. I pray for a similar grace to always do what I can for God. (I also mentioned this woman in my post today 🙂 ) FMF#4

  2. I love that you wrote about this. In my church’s tradition, we take an “alabaster offering” in September to collect money for buildings and land for use in mission work. So, for me, it is both beautiful and timely to read the account of the original alabaster offering.

    Amie, FMF #12

  3. We’ve got to do all that we can,
    even when the going’s tough.
    We’ve got to follow Master’s Plan,
    even when we’ve not enough
    to stay all safe and comfy,
    for that’s hot why we’re here.
    The gravy will be lumpy,
    and enjoy the de-fizzed beer,
    for this will be your daily bread
    if it’s Calvary you choose;
    it may be you wind up ead,
    but you will never lose
    the love that animates your soul,
    heals your heart, and makes you whole.

    1. indeed our hearts are of greater value. our wallets often demonstrate what is in our hearts too, as we pour money into what matters to us. praying to be one who does what I can for Him. thank you for reading <3

  4. Oh, how I want to be one who did what she could for the Lord!! Thank you for your inspiring and encouraging words! I am going to take your three steps to heart and try to put them into practice! Wonderful post Mariel!

    1. Grateful it blessed you, Cindy! I keep pressing back into those words myself too. Yes, to be one who did what she could, that is a life worth living!

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